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The Schmooze

Memories Of Leonard Bernstein, ‘Eating Animals’ And More To Read, Watch And Do This Weekend

Dear reader, there has been quite a lot of news this week, and much of it is bad. Escape the ever-present menace of doom and disaster, and do something fun with your weekend. Read on for our recommendations for the best weekend events in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

1) Read

Love Leonard Bernstein? Spend your weekend with his daughter Jamie’s “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein,” starting with an excerpt published in the Forward. Also new in memoirs is record man Seymour Stein’s “Siren Song: My Life in Music.” For something very exciting and completely different, go for Ben Mezrich’s “Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures.”

2) Watch

Ignore my previous suggestion that this weekend would be a good time to take your mind off all the bad things; if you’re in for a little self-flagellation, take yourself to a screening of “Eating Animals,” the documentary adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2009 indictment of factory farming. There are various other interesting new movies out this week — foremost among them “Incredibles 2” — but, alas, none are especially Jewish. If you’re in search of something that is — kinda — try watching one or two films from the oeuvre of the Yiddish-speaking Irish-American actor James Cagney, whose work the Forverts revisited last week.

3) New York City

Saturday evening, choose between two very different events: A conversation with magician David Copperfield at the New York Historical Society or Symphony Space’s annual “Bloomsday on Broadway,” a star-studded celebration of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” On Sunday, head to 6th Avenue between 48th and 49th for the Workmen’s Circle’s “Taste of Jewish Culture” street festival.

4) Washington D.C.

Viktor Ullman wrote his opera “The Emperor of Atlantis” in the Theresienstadt concentration camp prior to his deportation to and death in Auschwitz. See the opera Saturday afternoon at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, where it will be performed alongside Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale.” Sunday afternoon, see the French director, pianist and rare film connoisseur Serge Bromberg perform his “Retour de Flamme,” which combines live piano, restored films, some opera and various other unusually-paired entertainments at the National Gallery of Art. The DC Jazz Festival also runs all weekend; check out the lineup here.

5) Chicago

Saturday night, head to the gloomily-named Martyrs’ for a show by Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird. For the rest of the weekend, if you’re not swept up in Pride festivities, see Lookingglass Theatre’s David Kersnar-penned adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under the Seas,” or save some time for the exhibit “Ed Paschke: Mixed Media” at the Ed Paschke Art Center.

6) Los Angeles

L.A.’s most interesting Jewish events this weekend are, in fact, L.A.-adjacent; head to Pasadena for the Pasadena Civic Ballet’s “At the Movies” on Saturday, and the opening of “Judy Chicago’s Birth Project: Born Again” on Sunday at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. If you’d prefer to stay in L.A. proper, don’t miss a Saturday night screening of “Mrs. Doubtfire” at Street Food Cinema or “Bearing Witness: The Play” at Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles.

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